Google is adding several pathways to get a quality education — and ideally a job — in high-growth tech fields. The company unveiled three certification programs led and developed by Google employees and is waiving the program costs with a slew of scholarships.
Through a partnership with the online education website Coursera, Google is offering new certificates in data analytics, project management and user-experience (UX) design. To make the programs more accessible to underrepresented groups in the tech industry, Google is offering 100,000 need-based scholarships.
“College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn’t need a college diploma to have economic security,” said Kent Walker, senior vice president of global affairs at Google, in an announcement. “We need new, accessible job-training solutions — from enhanced vocational programs to online education — to help America recover and rebuild.”
Google launched a training initiative called Grow With Google in part to provide alternatives to college degrees. The three new certification programs are building on the success of the company’s current education program for IT support specialists, which, according to Walker, is Coursera’s “single most popular certificate.” More than 260,000 people have already enrolled in that specialization.
The broader initiative, Grow With Google, offers more than Coursera classes. The company says it partners with more than 7,000 organizations to provide workshops and one-on-one coaching to business owners, students and job seekers. As a result of the pandemic, those resources are now available online as well as additional material for remote workers.
Related: Codecademy is teaching 100,000 unemployed workers how to code, and Johns Hopkins’ free contact tracer course will prepare you for the fast-growing gig.
A Look at the New Google Career Certificates
Google’s education programs focus on high-paying fields that have good long-term job prospects. They will be available fully online through Coursera. Google also plans to offer them through technical high schools in the fall.
The Google Career Certificates landing page sheds some light on what you can expect.
Job specializations include data analyst, IT support specialist, project manager and UX designer.
Each specialization will take three to six months to complete.
No experience is required to enroll.
The corresponding jobs have a minimum median salary of $50,000.
Only the IT program is currently accepting students. For the other three programs, pre-register on the landing page. Google will notify you when enrollment opens.
“Google wants to ensure that technology helps all Americans emerge from this economic crisis — without limitation based on zip code, race, background or education level,” said Lisa Gevelber, vice president of Grow with Google, in an announcement. “We are excited to help equip Americans with the skills they need to succeed and get jobs through these new career certificates and scholarships.”
Those scholarships will be available for all certification programs. Without one, each specialization costs $49 per month.
Google has also established a hiring pipeline with several big-name employers, including Cognizant, Hulu, Kforce and Sprint. Upon completion, you’ll have the option to share your certificate with those employers. We also recommend displaying the achievement on your LinkedIn profile and resume.
Google itself views the programs favorably for company jobs and, according to the announcement, will consider them as the equivalent of a four-year degree in the corresponding field.
Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers the gig economy, entrepreneurship and unique ways to make money. Read his latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.
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